Ausgrid crews have begun work to switch more than 9,600 streetlights in the City of Sydney to more energy efficient LED lamps to deliver savings to customers and ratepayers.
Chief executive officer of Ausgrid Richard Gross was joined by Lord Mayor Clover Moore to inspect the start of the work at Dawes Point next to the Harbour Bridge.
“This is an exciting day for us and for the city, and I couldn’t think of a better setting than here in the shadow of one of Sydney’s engineering marvels for us to begin the next phase of building the network of the future,” Mr Gross said.
“Ausgrid and our predecessors have been helping light the city with electricity since the fist streetlights were switched on by the Sydney Municipal Council at the General Post Office Building back in 1904.
“We know how much residents value streetlights and how they help people feel safe, so it’s fitting to be here today with Lord Mayor as we embark on this next new chapter together.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the partnership will cut carbon emissions by 3,500 tonnes each year.
Related article:Queensland city to be net zero energy
“The City of Sydney was the first council to replace more than 6,500 street lights that we own with LEDs and we will now be the first council to have all our street lights replaced with LED lamps,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Just replacing our own lights saved ratepayers $800,000 a year in energy costs and reduced our carbon emissions by 2,400 tonnes a year.
“This partnership with Ausgrid to upgrade the remaining streetlights will help us reduce the city’s electricity consumption and emissions by a further 3,500 tonnes of carbon a year – approximately nine per cent of the city’s own carbon footprint.
“We have an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 and this is the single largest carbon reduction project that we are working on.”
The older streetlights take up to 95 watts to power whereas the new LEDs require just 17 watts and this means the City will save 3,743 MWh of energy use a year.
The LEDs also need less maintenance and last up to 20 years.
Related article:Coal and renewables squeeze out gas generation
Residents may see Ausgrid crews replacing the streetlights from this week and the company has prepared some information to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. This information can be found here.
The work is part of a wider program where Ausgrid has offered 33 councils the option to accelerate the replacement of 100,000 older residential streetlights across its network.
Ausgrid is continuing talks with other local councils about extending the accelerated rollout of LEDs.